Relpax and Heart Problems
There are several potential side effects of Relpax, and heart problems are among some of the most serious. In studies of the drug, the risk of heart problems with Relpax was greater in people who had a history of heart disease and in those who had risk factors for heart disease. Therefore, people who have heart disease should not take Relpax, and doctors should use caution when prescribing the medication for people with risk factors for heart disease.
An Overview of Relpax and Heart ProblemsRelpax® (eletriptan hydrobromide) is a prescription medication used to treat migraine headaches. It is part of a class of migraine medications known as 5-HT agonists (or more commonly just "triptans").
As with any medicine, there are a number of side effects that can occur with Relpax. Heart problems are some of the more serious side effects associated with Relpax. For this reason, people who have a history of heart problems should not take Relpax, and healthcare providers should take particular caution when prescribing the drug for those who have risk factors for heart problems.
Heart Problems With Relpax -- What's the Risk?It is thought that heart problems occur with Relpax because the medication can cause the blood vessels of the heart (known as coronary arteries) to spasm. This spasm narrows the blood vessels and decreases the amount of oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood that is able to get to the heart muscle.
In clinical studies that looked at both the benefits and risks of Relpax, heart problems were seen in rare cases (in less than 1 percent of people taking the medication); however, this risk was greater in those who had a history of heart disease or those who had risk factors for heart disease. These heart problems were often quite serious and in some cases even resulted in loss of life. Heart problems seen with Relpax included:
- A temporary lack of oxygen to the heart (myocardial ischemia)
- A heart attack (myocardial infarction)
- Changes in heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
- The heart stopping (cardiac arrest).